Dan Connolly's tinkering lab notebook

Smart Contracts and Capabilities Up Close

This year I was invited to a Blockchain meets Object Capabilities panel in San Francisco July 3 and the RChain developer retreat in Park City Nov 12-17. Leaving Park City was... interesting.

My flight to San Francisco was funded from the $30 that I put into Ethereum in mid 2016--as an educational expense, I thought; I hardly expected to square my investment.

Jorge Lopez of Gravity hosted long-time capabilities leaders Mark Miller, Zooko Wilcox, and Brian Warner as well as Arthur Breitman of Tezos. Zooko also represented Zcash.

Mark Miller with Lopez and Warner to his right and Breitman and Wilcox to his left

Brian gave a great summary of the bitcoin market forces but I was too engrossed in the event to take notes; the one quote I managed to write down was "Satoshi is probably in the room."

Aside: Sandstorm Oasis let me export the grain I took my notes in even though my subscription had lapsed. That's pretty cool.

The evening before the panel, @zooko gave a shout out to my awesome-ocap list, and in a reply from @robertobrien, I discovered RChain's Namespace Logic.

I saw Mike Stay's name, which was familiar from cap-talk discussion, on some of the citations in the RChain Architecture document, and asked him some questions in email. Before long I was contributing little tweaks to the code and wrangled an invitation to the developer retreat.

Again, I was too engrossed to take good notes, but they made recordings of the main sessions.

The RChain goals are ambitious, to say the least: "content delivery at the scale of Facebook and transactions at the speed of Visa." Not to mention a an "e pluribus unum 2.0, a new center on a scale-invariant axis reconciling the wisdom of collective and the wisdom of the individual" for collaborating on problems such as global warming. An interview with Greg Meredith from the January RChain announcement filled in a lot of the background for me.

Nash and the gang did an amazing job hosting. We had dinner out most nights and breakfast in the houses in the morning, and it's a tough call which was better.

On the last day, after a mind-blowing week, we were all lounging around, zoned out on our phones, when we noticed the snow. For some, it was their first snowstorm... nice and pretty. Then Nash snapped us out of it: "Get off the mountain now before they close the pass and you miss your flights!" As we were getting in the big rental SUV, I asked, "Have you driven in snow before?" and since she hadn't, the keys passed to me.

The drive out was a little hairy, but Vlad shared some tunes and we all got to know each other a little better.

Escaping Park City